A motion asking for a special audit to account for all investment made on Vienna Airport's new multi-million euro terminal extension 'Skylink' project was passed yesterday at an Extraordinary General Meeting. This will seek to
identify all aspects of the new project's funding arrangements and all expenditures associated with it.
As already reported, there are clearly differences of opinion over why the Skylink project is so grossly over budget. Originally the budget was set and agreed at E.400m ($568m) but only last April airport management reported that actual forecast costs had doubled to around E.894m ($1.2bn) before it suspended all work on July 1.
Last month, Vienna Airport press spokesman Peter Kleemann told TREND that the project will still go ahead next year, but he added that the Management Board is determined to reduce the cost to ensure that the much delayed project 'stays within budget'.
As reported, the prelude to all of this follows the significant appointment to the Management Board last March of Ernest Gabmann, who took over all the duties of Christian Domany – a member of the Management Board – who resigned for 'personal and family reasons'.
A former state of Lower Austria's Lt. Governor and Economic Councillor, Gabmann has effectively been parachuted in on a trouble-shooting contract with the primary task of putting the new VIE-Skylink Terminal extension project firmly back on track, following the serious delays and cost overruns.
The Skylink Terminal was initially scheduled to open in early 2009 after contracts for the duty free and travel retail business were awarded to Gebr. Heinemann back in May of last year, while SSP, HMSHost and various other companies also won several F&B concept contracts. A 'Best of Austria' concept was also awarded to Artifacts/Sardana and many new big-name fashion boutiques have also been awarded space, as have various bars and service concepts.
The number of passengers using Vienna Airport in July fell by 5.2% to 1,826,599 compared with the same month last year, while total passenger numbers betwen January and July 2009 fell by 11.4% to 10,259,346.